Daughter Discovers Father's Black Lineage : NPR
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Well, I have to look at my own self. I've been married twice.
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I had a child out of wedlock before I was married the first time. And I think that part of the problem is that you develop these kind of, I call them symptoms - the fatherless woman syndrome - you develop these handicaps based on the absence of your father. So you don't believe that you're lovable or worthy of love.
You suffered the triple fear factor - fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of abandonment. You actually get involved with sexual activity because you're looking for someone to love you.
You have rage, anger and depression issues, and then you overcompensate, either using drugs, using work. And so these things come out in your life in ways that, kind of, alienates you in relationships. That's a lot to put on Jasmine. Jasmine, I'm not associating you with all this.
I understand, you know what I mean? I'm not making that all your story. But I did want to ask if you feel that, you know, you're 18 now? Do you feel - well, first of all, how do you feel now that you are talking about it? Does it feel better to talk about it? I feel a little bit better because I get to get it off my chest and I get to tell - I told my mother about it. So, like, I feel like I'm not the only one, now, that I know.
Do you feel that this has affected your relationship with boys, not having your dad around that maybe you don't feel as confident you would be in with dealing with But if I had my dad around I really think I probably would've made some good choices in boys. Better ones you mean? We do hear from your mom in the film, Tina Bowden. I'll just play a short clip.
To me, the older a female gets, even though she needs her mom, she needs her dad too. She needs that fatherly stage, you know, the stage when there's time for boys, you know, dad is right there monitoring the type of boys.Father And Daughter Short Film - Vivash (helpless) - Hindi Short Film
I mean, moms can do but so much. You know, but your mom also said in the film Jasmine, that you hadn't really talked to her that much about it. I wonder why is that.
Were you afraid of hurting her feelings or making her feel as though you blamed her or she wasn't good enough? Or what do you think?
Why do you think you didn't talk about it? Like I usually hold it in, but like that was bothering me so much that I had to say something. Like I told her, like, a little bit but she was like well, at least say how you feel and I finally told her. Well, I'll come back to you. Whenever you're ready I'll come back to you. I'll keep checking back with you. But Janks, I have to ask. Again, I have Janks, I'll ask you this question. I asked Jonetta question And it's also is a part of it that it kind of fights, the sisters are doing it for themselves kind of mentality?
That there's something that is ashamed of.
There's some element here that doesn't want to imply that a man is needed because that would either hurt too much, or it's just considered, you know, another black mark against the black community that I think your talk And I wonder if that's part of it too. I think you're touching on all the kind of all these thrusters it is. And what I've seen with these young women specifically is that this kind of cultural construct we, or this mantra we have of, you know, all the women, independent, stand on your own two feet - which leads to all those great workshops that Jonetta talks about.
They'll give you all of these great things, self-worth, identity, financial literacy, all of these things to deal with all of the secondary manifestations. But to get to the pathology of where the pain hurts, where it starts, I don't know what it is but that thing is off the table in our community.
And this film is, what I'm trying to do, I think that really, if we start here a lot of this other things, you know, abusing your body with drugs, abusing your body with food, all those other workshops get put out of business if we deal with father absence and void vacancy at this juncture. And so I was going to ask each of you this, what do you hope will come out of this film? I think one of the great postulates that Jonetta actually advances in the film.
She talks about, you know, again, I work with faith-based organizations so I want to qualify with that, but I've never seen inside of a church a father-daughter reconciliation ministry. I see dad's ministry. I see singing ministries, single mom ministry, youth ministry. I see every ministry, even mentorship, but this construct of saying there needs to be a safe space where a daughter can be transparent, begin to heal and reconcile from this trauma, and also a father who wants to be involved, a place where these two can come together, it just doesn't exist.
I don't see it. Did you make any effort to find Jasmine's dad? And you weren't able to? Were you able - OK. I didn't include him in the film for some very, very specific reasons. And too often we as adults want to get into this game: What did you do? Or Mama, why did you?
All of that is off the table right now, because it takes us away from this.
Daughter Discovers Father's Black Lineage
Jonetta, what do you hope people will draw from this film? Actually, I hope that this will be an opportunity for women, regardless of their age, color, class, who have been affected, to know that there are others just like them.
And to give themselves permission to actually cry and to say I hurt. And also, if they want to go and find their fathers, I want them to take that journey. I met my father two years before he died. I wasn't able to really reconcile with him, but meeting him gave me a freedom that I needed to reconcile with myself and to heal myself and to become a whole healthy person. I want that for every woman who has grown up without her father or is growing up without her father.
I think this film is the first step to that. All right, Jasmine, I'm going to give you the last word. What do you hope people will get out of this film? That they will, after watching this, they will want to connect with they fathers.
Like the fathers will want to talk to they daughters, want to be in they life and stuff like that. Like not everybody is as strong. Like if they act strong that don't mean that they are. Like they really need they father around. They really need to talk to 'em. And they fathers should look at they daughters and just sit 'em down and be like what do you want to talk about or what what's going on in your life. Like, it's kind of hard just by having just a mother, like, the mother can't do everything.
They can't make the choices. They can't have certain conversations with they daughters that the fathers can. And all fathers need to step up, because like it's real terrible out here and we need our fathers around.
Do you mind if I ask you this, and you can say no. If you could talk to your father, what would you tell him? I made it without him. But have you really? OK, Jasmine, we're not going to - we're going - Jasmine Bowden is one of the young women featured in the film "Dear Daddy. It's touring around the country now. Thank you all so much. Thank you so much. And that's our program for today. Let's talk more tomorrow.
Everything I know about what a man looks like, I learned from my father. Right along with how a man sacrifices, how he protects, how he provides, and how he loves.
I learned all of this simply by watching my father interact with my mother. Not only do young girls commonly grow up to seek men who share physical similarities with their fathersbut they seek men who share behavioral similarities as well. A girl who grows up with a father who provides her mother with affection, respect and affirmation of her femininity will look for these behaviors in her future partners.
In contrast, a young girl who fails to see her mother positively affirmed by her father, or one who grows up with a father who models criticism, neglect, and abuse will seek similarly neglectful partners.
They grow up seeking the validation of men who only assess value to the pieces of them that yield the desired results. They grow up exhausting their energy chasing an unconditional love that cannot be replicated through a give and take relationship. The daughters of unloving fathers navigate the world physically as adults but emotionally as children coveting expired nostalgia.
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And furthermore, who helps unloved daughters heal? The boys who teach them on the playground that intrusive male touch equates courting? The boys who teach them that there is no greater attainment than the sexual attraction of the opposite sex? The men who take full advantage of their insecurities, intentionally contributing to the pre-existing damage?
Men who most likely also suffer from the affects of not having a healthy male role model to teach them the error of their dysfunction? Everyone suffers when men fail to protect the innocence they create, leaving the burden of restoration resting squarely on the shoulders of the daughters themselves, ironically where its always been. That feels odd to type but I believe it deserves to be said as often as possible.
It serves as a reminder that fatherhood is a choice for men in the same way that motherhood is a choice for women. As with any job, and parenting is a job, the work remains whether we show up or not. Fatherless daughters become strong women not by choice, but by necessity.